LV THE MONGOL CATACLYSM 153 Meanwhile Mohamed had reached Kazvin and in- tended to make a stand there. While he was organizing an army, news reached him of the capture of Rei, distant less than one hundred miles. His army, infected with the spirit of its monarch, scattered, and Mohamed, after nearly falling into the hands of the Mongols, escaped into Mazanderan, and finally took refuge in a small island off the coast. The craven monarch, though safe at last, was dying, and he passed away leaving behind him a reputation for pusillanimity which has rarely been paralleled in history. The Siege of Urganj > A.H. 617 (1220).—After the death of Mohamed three of his sons travelled by sea to the Mangishlak peninsula, and on reaching the capital of Khwarazm were warmly welcomed by all classes. An army was collected, but a conspiracy being formed against Jalal-u-Din he was forced to flee with three hundred men. Crossing the desert in sixteen days, he reached Nisa, a few miles to the south-west of modern Askabad, only to find it held by a body of seven hundred Mongols. With the courage of despair the heroic Prince charged and defeated this force and reached Nishapur in safety. Two of his brothers, hearing that a large force was concentrating on Urganj, followed in his track three days later and were killed by the Mongols. The next operation of Chengiz was to despatch a force under Juji, Chagatay, and Ogotay to besiege the capital of Khwarazm. The Mongols on reaching the city gates were attacked and pursued by the garrison, which was drawn into a carefully prepared ambush, and suffered heavily. Upon the arrival of the main army before Urganj, the wretched Tajiks1 from other con- quered cities were forced to fill up the ditches and the artillery was then placed in position. The Mongols, how- ever, failed in an attempt to capture the bridge uniting the two parts of the town, and owing to quarrels between Juji and Chagatay the conduct of operations was paralysed. 1 Tajik is the term used to denote the sedentary population, as opposed to Turk, which employed in this connexion includes all tent-dwellers. It is the same word as Tazi, which signifies Arab and still survives in the word used to denote the so-called Persian greyhound, which was apparently introduced by the Arab Conquerors.